National Eucharistic Pilgrimage comes to youth of Manahawkin

May 29, 2024 at 2:25 p.m.
Students in St. Mary Academy, Manahawkin, attend Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with their teachers, families and other visitors during the second day of the Seton route pilgrimage visit to the Diocese on May 29. Mike Ehrmann photo
Students in St. Mary Academy, Manahawkin, attend Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with their teachers, families and other visitors during the second day of the Seton route pilgrimage visit to the Diocese on May 29. Mike Ehrmann photo

By EMMALEE ITALIA
Contributing Editor

Young people from the Diocese of Trenton and students in St. Mary Academy, Manahawkin, gathered the morning of May 29 in St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin – worship site of St. Mary Parish, Barnegat – to celebrate the arrival of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the perpetual pilgrims of the Seton route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

The day began with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and accompanying praise and worship in the parish center, as well as a talk and Eucharistic procession to the church, where the youth awaited the celebration of a Mass by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Bishop O'Connell and his priest-secretary, Father Jean Felicien, process into St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin, where the Bishop celebrated Mass on the second day of the Eucharistic Revival pilgrimage May 29. Mike Ehrmann photo

 Filling the worship space, students listened to the Bishop speak about a soon-to-be canonized saint who not only was a modern day youthful role model for them, but also had a remarkable love for the Eucharist.

“Every once in a while, we hear about someone who made a real difference in the world,” Bishop O’Connell said. “I would like to tell you a little story today about a young boy, around the same age as some of you, who made a real difference in the world. His name was Carlo Acutis.”

PHOTO GALLERY: May 29, 2024: St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin (evening)

PHOTO GALLERY: May 29, 2024: St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin (morning)

PHOTO GALLERY: May 28, 2024: St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton

Pointing out that “the whole Catholic Church in our country has something to learn from him … as we are celebrating a National Eucharistic Revival,” Bishop O’Connell explained how the teenage Carlo had developed a special love for Jesus – so much so that he brought his own parents to Mass and to a conversion of their hearts.

“Last year, Carlo’s mom came to visit us in our Diocese at St. Dominic’s Parish in Brick, where there is now a shrine dedicated to him,” the Bishop explained. “She loved her son so much, and while she was with us, she talked about his great faith and love for Jesus in the Eucharist.”

Despite his being very much like other children his age, loving sports and video games, he continued, Carlo also stood up to bullies, went to daily Mass and weekly Confession, prayed the Rosary, gave his money to the poor and volunteered.

“‘To be always close to Jesus, that is my life plan’ was his motto. … Carlo Acutis made a real difference in so many people’s lives because of his faith and love for Jesus in the Eucharist. He never hesitated, even at his young age, to share that faith and love with others, especially young people. With his computer skills, [he] spent the last two years of his life creating a website that listed every Eucharistic miracle in the history of the Church. It is still used and touring around New Jersey and the U.S.”

Although he died of leukemia at the age of 15 in 2006, his example has lived on as an inspiration to others wanting to grow closer to Jesus, Bishop O’Connell pointed out.

“I have told you about him in the hope that his example, his life, his love will inspire you to grow in your love and devotion to the Holy Eucharist, and to never give up the opportunity when you have it to visit our Lord in the Eucharist,” he said. “During this day as we spend time here at Mass and in the presence of our Lord Jesus and in our conversations together, may Blessed Carlo Acutis help us to stay close to our Lord, to pray each day, to lead others to Jesus and to do good works for those in need, just as he did.”

As one of three stops of the Seton route in the Diocese on its way from New Haven, Conn., to Indianapolis, Ind., for the National Eucharistic Congress in July, St. Mary of the Pines Church was to be host to another event later in the evening open to faithful of all ages, including the celebration of Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and procession on the church grounds.


A Eucharistic procession is held from St. Mary of the Pines Parish Center to the church May 29. Mike Ehrmann photo

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Young people from the Diocese of Trenton and students in St. Mary Academy, Manahawkin, gathered the morning of May 29 in St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin – worship site of St. Mary Parish, Barnegat – to celebrate the arrival of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist and the perpetual pilgrims of the Seton route of the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage.

The day began with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and accompanying praise and worship in the parish center, as well as a talk and Eucharistic procession to the church, where the youth awaited the celebration of a Mass by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Bishop O'Connell and his priest-secretary, Father Jean Felicien, process into St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin, where the Bishop celebrated Mass on the second day of the Eucharistic Revival pilgrimage May 29. Mike Ehrmann photo

 Filling the worship space, students listened to the Bishop speak about a soon-to-be canonized saint who not only was a modern day youthful role model for them, but also had a remarkable love for the Eucharist.

“Every once in a while, we hear about someone who made a real difference in the world,” Bishop O’Connell said. “I would like to tell you a little story today about a young boy, around the same age as some of you, who made a real difference in the world. His name was Carlo Acutis.”

PHOTO GALLERY: May 29, 2024: St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin (evening)

PHOTO GALLERY: May 29, 2024: St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin (morning)

PHOTO GALLERY: May 28, 2024: St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton

Pointing out that “the whole Catholic Church in our country has something to learn from him … as we are celebrating a National Eucharistic Revival,” Bishop O’Connell explained how the teenage Carlo had developed a special love for Jesus – so much so that he brought his own parents to Mass and to a conversion of their hearts.

“Last year, Carlo’s mom came to visit us in our Diocese at St. Dominic’s Parish in Brick, where there is now a shrine dedicated to him,” the Bishop explained. “She loved her son so much, and while she was with us, she talked about his great faith and love for Jesus in the Eucharist.”

Despite his being very much like other children his age, loving sports and video games, he continued, Carlo also stood up to bullies, went to daily Mass and weekly Confession, prayed the Rosary, gave his money to the poor and volunteered.

“‘To be always close to Jesus, that is my life plan’ was his motto. … Carlo Acutis made a real difference in so many people’s lives because of his faith and love for Jesus in the Eucharist. He never hesitated, even at his young age, to share that faith and love with others, especially young people. With his computer skills, [he] spent the last two years of his life creating a website that listed every Eucharistic miracle in the history of the Church. It is still used and touring around New Jersey and the U.S.”

Although he died of leukemia at the age of 15 in 2006, his example has lived on as an inspiration to others wanting to grow closer to Jesus, Bishop O’Connell pointed out.

“I have told you about him in the hope that his example, his life, his love will inspire you to grow in your love and devotion to the Holy Eucharist, and to never give up the opportunity when you have it to visit our Lord in the Eucharist,” he said. “During this day as we spend time here at Mass and in the presence of our Lord Jesus and in our conversations together, may Blessed Carlo Acutis help us to stay close to our Lord, to pray each day, to lead others to Jesus and to do good works for those in need, just as he did.”

As one of three stops of the Seton route in the Diocese on its way from New Haven, Conn., to Indianapolis, Ind., for the National Eucharistic Congress in July, St. Mary of the Pines Church was to be host to another event later in the evening open to faithful of all ages, including the celebration of Mass, Eucharistic Adoration and procession on the church grounds.


A Eucharistic procession is held from St. Mary of the Pines Parish Center to the church May 29. Mike Ehrmann photo

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.


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